St John the Baptist, Cookham Dean

Encounter God through warm hospitality and inspired worship

Outside the Church

The South Porch

The Porch

Flanked by large Victorian boot scrapers, which say a lot about the state of the roads and paths over many years, the porch forms the main entrance to the church facing what would have been the "main" route between Cookham to Cookham Dean at the time the church was built.

It has an attractive patterned tiled floor, stone flank seating and a fine carved, but now well weathered, oak frame, the gable of which depicts carved Tudor roses. Roses in general symbolise triumphant spiritual love, and are particularly associated with the Virgin Mary, who is often referred to as the rose without thorns, i.e. sinless.

The Lych Gates

Quite unusually Cookham Dean church has two lych gates. The first, funded by public subscription, was built in 1882 at what would have been the main entrance to the church at the time. It is well-proportioned, surmounted by a cross on a tiled roof supported by a frame of shaped oak beams. It was restored in 1993.

The word 'lych' means 'corpse', and the 'corpse gate' symbolised the gate of death. Here coffins were rested briefly before the funeral service, probably having been carried by pall bearers to the church.

The second lych gate, set in the wall to the North side of the church, was designed by architects at Andrew Smith of Woodlands Park, Maidenhead, and was built by Maidment Builders also of Maidenhead in 1995. It was given to the church and bears the inscription:

"In memory of Copas Brothers William, George and Thomas,
                Choirboys and Farmers of the Parish"

It is an exceptionally good example of modern workmanship executed in the traditional manner, and the terracotta farm animals at each end of the roof ridge add a interesting finishing touch. It won an award from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for architectural quality in 1995.

The line drawings on this page are the work of David Colthup our organist and chiormaster